It’s time to dim the lights, close the curtains and cower in the corner as we check out the best PS5 horror games!
Though Sony’s PlayStation 5 has only been available since November 2020, it’s already amassed a pretty impressive library of games.
The horror genre is well represented too, with plenty of scary experiences to sink your teeth into – though perhaps playing them will see something sinking its teeth into you instead!
As we recently checked out the best PS4 horror games, we thought we should also cover the scary titles available on the PS5 too. Especially as – given the bump in graphical fidelity, along with the audio enhancement possible with the console’s Tempest Engine – horror games have the potential to be at their most terrifying on the PS5.
So without further ado, let’s see which horror games we rate as the best on the PS5!
10. Dying Light 2: Stay Human (2022)
The original Dying Light was an excellent mix of parkour and post-apocalyptic zombie horror. This belated sequel – coming seven years after the release of the previous game – takes the open world, vertiginously accessible action of its predecessor and dials it up to eleven.
This is a game that truly feels as if its world is built to take advantage of the player’s abilities – a huge, open playground to sprint, climb and jump around; just moving from place to place is incredibly thrilling.
Though zombie themed, there’s more focus on hostile human factions this time around – making it less scary than the other games on this list, though it’s still a thrilling experience. Combat is melee focused and suitably violent, with a fatigue system that can make every close encounter a deadly game of cat and mouse.
9. Observer: System Redux (2020)
The late, great and much missed Rutger Hauer is on fine form in Bloober Team’s Observer: System Redux, a remastered, somewhat remixed version of 2017 title Observer.
Not just a simple audiovisual overhaul of the original game, the System Redux version features new content that perfectly fits into all the action that players of the 2017 title will recall.
Plenty of jump scares feature in this psychological horror game, set in a cyberpunk-style future. Played from a first person perspective, players are cast as a detective who can hack the brain implants of citizens in order to interrogate them.
It’s an atmospheric, surprisingly creepy game which – in this version at least – makes great use of the PS5’s 3D audio to deliver a more intense experience than was previously possible.
8. Alan Wake Remastered (2021)
An Xbox 360 console exclusive when it came out in 2010, Alan Wake finally made the journey to PlayStation platforms with this remastered version of the original.
The tale of an author who’s suffering from a long term case of writer’s block, Alan Wake sees the titular character travelling to a cabin in a small mountain town to try and overcome his problems. Yet that turns out to be the worst idea in the history of bad ideas…
A psychological horror game in which light – usually the light of a dying torch – is a significant element of the gameplay, as a way of fending off the supernatural creatures that may or may not be a construct of Wake’s crumbling sanity.
An excellent story with some truly surprising narrative turns make Alan Wake as engaging as it is scary.
This remastered version takes full advantage of the host hardware in bringing the Alan Wake experience bang up to date – and more terrifying than it’s ever been before.
7. The Persistence Enhanced (2021)
Originally designed for VR, this non-VR version of The Persistence does suffer from a few issues with being translated into a game that plays on standard displays.
However, this space-set sci-fi horror does end up being a very worthwhile and scary experience even outside of its original, headset-based format.
A first person horror game with stealth and roguelite elements, The Persistence Enhanced sees players attempting to stop their spaceship from being drawn into a black hole – but plenty of creatures are between the player and their goal.
The roguelite elements will see you dying over and over again – but your persistent (no pun intended) upgrades will see you being able to progress further and further into the game upon each new resurrection.
With amazing ray-tracing effects (that unfortunately ruin the frame rate, but are impressive to see) and excellent use of 3D audio, this PS5 version of The Persistence feels definitive, despite some elements of the game making it feeling slightly more at home on PSVR.
6. Martha is Dead (2022)
The most recently released game on this list, Martha is Dead is another game that takes a psychological approach with its horror – though in fairness, it’s pretty gory too!
It’s an incredibly bleak game, set during World War II, with a very strong narrative which grips you from the very beginning and simply doesn’t let go over the course of the game.
The horrors of war are unflinchingly presented, giving Martha is Dead a much more realistic story – which is therefore much more disturbing and affecting than many other titles on this list.
Though dream sequences and the supernatural do feature, it’s the atmosphere of its real world setting that serves to anchor the experience and makes it one that’s difficult to shake off.
5. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! (2021)
I know what you’re thinking. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! sure doesn’t look like a horror game. At all.
Yet this game – which, to all intents and purposes, just seems to be a fairly straightforward visual novel/dating simulator – is much more than its first appearances may suggest.
There’s some serious psychological horror at play here; those content warnings pop up for good reason. It’s difficult to go into too much detail without spoiling the experience – and this is one horror game that needs to be experienced with as little prior knowledge of its narrative as possible before you play.
If you’re a horror fan and you have a PS5, just know that you need to play Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! It’s on the best PS5 horror games list after all – and trust us, we at Retro Dodo know our PlayStation-based horror.
Don’t just take my word for it though – check out our best PS1 horror games list, best PS2 horror games list and best PS3 horror games list for more evidence!
4. The Medium (2021)
Another Bloober Team game, The Medium has an incredible splitscreen visual technique which sees the player controlling a character in both the ‘real’ world and the spirit world simultaneously. Its story goes to some genuinely disturbing, dark places too, taking in some truly horrific themes as the narrative unfolds.
The theme of duality also extends to the soundtrack, with Bloober Team composer Arkadiusz Reikowski working in conjunction with legendary Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka.
They deliver a suitably creepy, unique atmosphere that perfectly complements the striking visuals.
Though originally a timed Xbox exclusive, The Medium on PS5 is made more immersive thanks to the console’s DualSense controller – making this version the definitive one.
3. Tormented Souls (2021)
Taking inspiration from (and paying homage to) the pioneers of the horror genre – namely Alone in the Dark and the original Resident Evil games – Tormented Souls is a deliberately old-school, fixed camera perspective horror experience that takes players back to the roots of video game terror.
Naturally, with nearly thirty years of technological progress since the games that inspired Tormented Souls were released, it’s a title that can far exceed those 90s experiences in terms of audiovisual tricks to make sure you go to bed with the lights on.
The game’s setting – a mansion transformed into a hospital, in which the player character must investigate the disappearance of twin girls – is incredibly creepy and used to excellent effect; this is a game that’ll linger in your mind long after the credits roll.
2. The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes (2021)
Supermassive Games have refined the cinematic, narrative and choice-based horror experience into a fine art.
The third title in the excellent Dark Pictures Anthology series – which presents each game as if it were an interactive episode of a TV show, complete with creepy host and even a credit sequence – House of Ashes is definitely the strongest entry so far.
Set primarily during the Iraq War – and featuring seriously scary, vampiric creatures – just like the previous games it’s possible for each of the five main characters to die during the course of a playthrough.
The story’s choices and the consequences can have a serious effect on how the narrative can diverge, as well as helping to decide the fates of the characters.
Though a single playthrough of the game is relatively short, there’s plenty of outcomes and narrative variations to discover by playing through the game a number of times. If you dare!
1. Resident Evil Village (2021)
Narrowly missing out on the top spot on our best PS4 horror games list, Resident Evil Village sits comfortably on top of the pile of rotting corpses that comprises our best PS5 horror games!
Why is that, I hear you ask? Well, since Resident Evil 7 switched the formula up from third person, more action oriented titles and into first person, the series has really seemed to find its uber-scary mojo once more.
Going from the dilapidated, terrifyingly grim house setting of the seventh game and into the titular village environment of this eighth title in the long-running series, protagonist Ethan Winters is once more thrust into some incredibly scary goings-on.
Great use is made of the first person perspective and the visuals – including ray tracing – are absolutely stunning. The soundtrack and general sound design are also incredibly impressive, giving Resident Evil Village a pretty tense, haunting atmosphere.
As well as the sublime audio and visuals, the great cast of villains and awesome bosses – along with an excellent storyline – make Resident Evil Village an unsurprising number one entry for the best PS5 horror games list.
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Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.